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Blog Tour: White Nights, Black Paradise by Sikivu Hutchinson – Ceillie Simkiss
Blog Tour: White Nights, Black Paradise by Sikivu Hutchinson I received a review copy of White Nights, Black Paradise as part of the Rich In Variety blog tour, in exchange for an honest review and movie cast post! Full cast photo from the movie Full cast photo from the movie In 1978, Peoples Temple, a Black multiracial church once at the forefront of progressive San Francisco politics, self-destructed in a Guyana jungle settlement named after its leader, the Reverend Jim Jones. Fatally bonded by fear of racist annihilation, the community’s greatest symbol of crisis was the White Night; a rehearsal of revolutionary mass suicide that eventually led to the deaths of over 900 church members of all ages, genders and sexual orientations. White Nights, Black Paradise focuses on three fictional black women characters who were part of the Peoples Temple movement but took radically different paths to Jonestown: Hy, a drifter and a spiritual seeker, her sister Taryn, an atheist with an inside line on the church’s money trail and Ida Lassiter, an activist whose watchdog journalism exposes the rot of corruption, sexual abuse, racism and violence in the church, fueling its exodus to Guyana. White Nights, Black Paradise is a riveting story of complicity and resistance; loyalty and betrayal; black struggle and black sacrifice. It locates Peoples Temple and Jonestown in the shadow of the civil rights movement, Black Power, Second Wave feminism and the Great Migration. Recapturing black women’s voices, White Nights, Black Paradise explores their elusive quest for social justice, home and utopia. In so doing, the novel provides a complex window onto the epic flameout of a movement that was not only an indictment of religious faith but of American democracy. (via Goodreads) wnbp-postcard-flyer-front wnbp-postcard-flyer-back This book surprised me with how much I enjoyed it, given the craziness that you read from the characters’ perspectives. White Nights, Black Paradise is a historical fictionization of the Jim Jones cult, based on interviews with people who were survivors or knew people in the cult.